Business Booming for Pa. Restaurant Dealing With Atheist Complaint

Since having a complaint filed against it by an atheist activist, a Pennsylvania restaurant has been experiencing an increase in business.

The Lost Cajun Kitchen of Columbia, which had an anti-discrimination complaint filed against it over having a church bulletin discount on Sundays, has had an increase in business since the complaint made headlines, according to its owner.

In an interview with local media, owner Sharon Prudhomme explained that business has been up and support has poured in from all over the country and even the world.

"It has definitely picked up," said Prudhomme to the York Daily Record, adding that "everybody that comes in [offers] a lot of handshakes, hugs. Everybody is offering a lot of support."

Last month, a local atheist named John Wolff filed a complaint against the restaurant to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. Wolff argued that Lost Cajun's church bulletin discount, wherein patrons could get a 10 percent discount if they presented a church bulletin to the restaurant, was discriminatory against non-Christians.

"For a restaurant to use religion to advance their business is tacky at best, and in my opinion and that of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, it is illegal," wrote Wolff in an opinion piece written in response to some of his critics.

"If the Prudhommes want to increase traffic on Sundays, they should give everyone a discount without promoting church attendance. Restaurants have to follow regulations, all the way from food handling to those affecting public accommodations and civil rights."

In response to the complaint, Lost Cajun received the support from many across the country and in their neighborhood. This included several offers from lawyers to do pro bono work for the restaurant as they respond to the filed complaint.

The York Daily Record editorial board also expressed support for the restaurant, calling the complaint filed by Wolff "small and petty."

"It seems, like so many atheist complaints, designed more to draw attention to oneself than to right a serious constitutional wrong," reads the editorial. "Restaurants offer all sorts of discounts based on debatable criteria – to senior citizens, to youth sports teams, to people who buy the newspaper and clip out the coupons. They all sort of discriminate against someone – non-seniors, non-sports players, non-coupon clippers."

Since Wolff filed the complaint, Lost Cajun and its lawyers working pro bono have submitted a response. The restaurant is awaiting the next step in the process.

Lost Cajun Kitchen of Columbia, Penn., did not return a request for comment by press time.

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